West Side soccer players traveling to Europe with the Hawaii Elite Soccer Academy
WEST MAUI – Two of the West Side’s outstanding youth soccer athletes embark on an experience of a lifetime today, Oct. 3, as the Hawaii Elite Soccer Academy (HESA) journeys to Spain on a two-week training sojourn. The trip for the three HESA rosters of 54 boys and girls will include practice stops in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, as well as taking in a Barcelona versus Sevilla contest at the famed Camp Now Stadium.
Kaikane Herrera-Rocha and Guiness Xavier Ruiz-Rockett have been playing the world’s most popular sport together for almost a decade now, and their focus on the game only becomes more acute as the seasons roll on.
From AYSO and HYSA programs to the travel and select teams they now play for, the two 13-year-old eighth-graders at Sacred Hearts School and Lahaina Intermediate School, respectively, continue their love and dedication to the sport.
Both express their life goals in no uncertain terms in a desire to play soccer professionally, and these high-level pathways will surely be enhanced by the trip to Spain. In previous years, both Herrera-Rocha, the goal keeper on the team, and Ruiz-Rockett, a midfielder, have traveled to the U.S. Mainland, Europe and Asia to broaden their skills and always played at high levels in their developmental years on the field.
“The outcome I want to see from going on this trip to Spain is maybe the coaches like the way I play; maybe they will ask me to stay and practice with them. Then I can get to that next level and become a great player, because that has been my goal, my dream, my whole life,” said Ruiz-Rockett.
Herrera-Rocha added, “This a big opportunity for us as we will train with teams like Barcelona and Madrid -teams from all over. My big dream is to play professional soccer, as I grew up mesmerized by the top-level skills of the players, especially the goal keepers. We really love the sport.”
Both are adamant in their appreciation for their parents, families and coaches in helping them along in their pathway to success. “Our parents and coaches have always given us the support and encouragement we needed. They’ve always provided us with the daily attention, the funds and all of support it takes to reach this level in soccer. Thank you so much,” concluded Herrera-Rocha.